Two things have unfortunately angered us over the last few weeks or so. First of all, someone in the family decided to share the news that Alex and I are expecting before we had a chance to tell extended family and friends. The second? Responses we’ve had all because we’re LGBTQIA+ parents to be on top of the fact that I’m disabled and pregnant. There are just things you NEVER say to disabled parents (see blog post on that here), and there are also things you NEVER say to LGBTQIA+ parents! The following list is not exhaustive, but these are all things that we’ve had to listen to from various narrow-minded people since a particular family member outed our news (which you don’t do. Period.)
1. Asking how we’ve had kids
Tip – none of your business! Fact is, there are many ways to have children. Families are created in many different ways, come in all sizes, and no two families are ever the same. Whether someone adopted, used a donor, had a surrogate pregnancy etc., is none of your business, and the intrusive questions aren’t welcome, nor is the calling out from such narrow mindedness.
2. Asking who the real parents are
We are. End of conversation.
The fact that people even ask us this question gets to me, especially as it’s often asked at the same time people question how we’re having our child. People see parenthood as a very biological thing, but that will never be the case. It takes more than biology and being a donor to be a parent.
3. Asking if our children are or will be LGBTQIA+
We are not mind readers. We don’t have crystal balls, and we can’t see into the future. We can’t tell if our child will be LGBTQIA+ themselves, and guess what? It doesn’t matter, and it’s none of your business whether they are or not! After all, it’s not a choice. Right now, all that matters to us is that our child grows up to be happy, well-rounded, respectful, and as healthy as possible. No matter who they are, they’ll always be loved and accepted because they’re ours.
4. Assuming that our children will get bullied for having LGBTQIA+ parents
Just stop right there. Firstly, I like to think children today are more tolerant and accepting of each other compared to when Alex and I were in school. Also, when we were in school, LGBTQIA+ issues weren’t talked about, something that is now thanks to a requirement for schools to provide LGBT-inclusive education. I’m pleased about this, as it’s something Alex and I didn’t get taught at school, partly because of Section 28, which was finally repealed in England on 18th November 2003 when we were both in primary school. To assume that our child will be bullied just for having LGBTQIA+ parents is hurtful and something we’re hoping won’t happen.
5. Commenting that our children will miss out because of us
Miss out on what exactly? Our child will have everything they need to ensure they aren’t missing out on anything. Saying that they’ll miss out simply because of who Alex and I are is entirely disrespectful. You wouldn’t want anyone questioning your parenting ability or how you plan to bring your child up, so why would you question ours?
As I said initially, this list isn’t exhaustive, but it gives a little bit of insight into what we have to deal with, just because some can’t keep their noses out of our business. Even if it’s under the guise of being inquisitive, it’s not on.